police: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (pu-lēs'), [key]
— n., v., -liced, -lic•ing.
  1. Also calledan organized civil force for maintaining order, preventing and detecting crime, and enforcing the laws.
  2. members of such a force: Several police are patrolling the neighborhood.
  3. the regulation and control of a community, esp. for the maintenance of public order, safety, health, morals, etc.
  4. the department of the government concerned with this, esp. with the maintenance of order.
  5. any body of people officially maintained or employed to keep order, enforce regulations, etc.
  6. people who seek to regulate a specified activity, practice, etc.: the language police.
  7. (in the U.S. Army)
    1. the cleaning and keeping clean of a camp, post, station, etc.
    2. the condition of a camp, post, station, etc., with reference to cleanliness.
  1. to regulate, control, or keep in order by or as if by means of police.
  2. to clean and keep clean (a camp, post, etc.)
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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